The history of this foundry, which was the oldest malleable iron company in continuous operation in the United States for many years, was inseparable from that of the small town of Westmoreland, where neighbors and workers kept time by the foundry bell. The firm was founded as Oakhill Malleable Iron Company in 1833 and was established under its present name in Westmoreland in 1850. Erastus W. Clark, who along with his brother-in-law Abel Buell brought the foundry to Westmoreland, ran the ironworks until 1871 and was the first of six generations who still own and manage it.
This reaction or "Scotch" turbine had as its antecedent the steam reaction wheel invented in Greek Alexandra by Hero around 100 B.C.. It found widespread hydraulic application in the United States from the beginning of the nineteenth century to mid-century when French-inspired hydraulic turbine design pushed reaction wheels into obsolence.